Described as the ‘High Priestess of Harmony,’ whose creative writing has ‘enjoyed exceptional public approbation,’ Xenia Hanusiak enjoys one of the most diverse lives experienced by artists today. As an opera singer, writer, cultural commentator, curator and festival director Xenia contributes to the stage, the page and the intervals in between.
Xenia creates and directs international festivals and curates art projects. Her next global festival "Songlines for a New World" will debut for the 2018 Spring Revolution Festival at the visionary National Sawdust in New York. Previous projects include: A thousand doors, a thousand windows (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Venice, Boston, Florence, Singapore, Beijing), MADE IN CHINA (Beijing Music Festival), Earth Songs (Korea, Sydney, Melbourne) and The Garden of Joy and Sorrow, (Melbourne International Arts Festival).
Xenia is currently a music and opera critic for the London Financial Times, The Log Journal (National Sawdust), Music and Literature, (USA), Arts and International Affairs, Choir and Organ (UK) La Scena Musicale (Canada) in addition to literary and scholarly journals.
Her body of work as a writer for the stage includes the play "Ward B" (R.E Ross Trust Award), the children’s chorus "Un_labelled" (co-written with Elena Kats-Chernin/Boosey & Hawkes/Young People’s Chorus of New York City), the libretto "A thousand doors, a thousand windows" (Melbourne International Arts Festival, Singapore Arts Festival, Venice Biennale), the music-theatre work "Earth Songs" (Homart Korean Theatre/Sydney/Melbourne) and the dramatic vocal monologue ''The MsTaken Identity'' (Adelaide Festival of Arts/Australian String Quartet). She is currently writing two libretti, and a book.
As an operatic soprano, Xenia gives world premiere performances on four continents. Her appearances include the Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Ten Days on the Island festivals (Australia), Aarhus Festival (Denmark), Banff Festival of Arts (Canada), Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music Festival (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington), Singapore Arts Festival, Gruppo Aperto Musica Oggi (Florence), Beijing Musica Acoustica, Beijing Music Festival (China) MODAFE Festival (Seoul), The Concert Hall, Esplanade Theatre on The Bay, (Singapore) and the Ljubljana Spring Festival. She has given the country or world premieres of some of the most influential composers of our time including Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, American composer John Harbison, Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, Chinese composer Zhang Xiaofu and Korean composer Cecilia Heejong Kim.
Xenia holds a PhD in Literature/Creative Writing, a Masters in classical music performance, a Bachelor of Arts degree (theatre and literature), and a Bachelor or Music. She is also an Alumnus of the Banff School of Fine Arts (Canada), and Corsi Di Perfezionamento Sulla Musica Del Novecento (Italy).
In 2017 - 2018 Xenia is a Global Cultural Fellow, Institute of International Cultural Relations, University of Edinburgh. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the School of Writing, Columbia University (New York), a Writer/Scholar/Artist in residence at Peking University (Beijing), Kookmin University (Korea), and a Bundanon Estate Arts resident (Australia). She is a Churchill Fellow, a State Library of Victoria Creative Fellow, and the inaugural arts recipient of a Boston-Melbourne Fellowship. Her honors and recognitions include the R. E Ross Trust award for playwriting and remains the only recipient ever awarded multiple citations from three different categories of the Australia Council (Literature, Music and Theatre). Xenia has held an Australia-China Council Fellowship, two Australian-Korea Foundation awards, an Asialink award, an Ian Potter Award, a Professional Writer’s award from Copyright Australia (CAL).
Xenia is committed to the exchange of ideas and international relations through arts and culture. She believes that cultural narratives promote not simply a greater understanding of the arts but an important cognition of a nation’s values and ways of thinking. In diplomatic positions including most recently as Manager of Cultural Relations for the Australian Consulate-General (New York), Xenia continues to create dynamic programs that transcend geographical borders to connect the United States of America, Asia, Europe and Australia for governments, festivals, cultural societies and independent artists. Xenia has been engaged in positions for the World Federation of International Music Competition, the United Nations and the World Forum for Words and Music.
A sought after speaker, Xenia’s representational skills on cultural engagement, literature, music, and museum practice has offered her opportunities at International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy (United Nations), Boston University, Northeastern University (Boston), Museums Victoria, Non-FictionNow (Melbourne and Rejykavik), Peking University (China), Sang Myung and Kookmin Universities (Korea), the National University of Singapore (Singapore), the Shanghai Institute of Theatre (Shanghai), Monash University, Melbourne University, and Adelaide Universities (Australia). In 2016 she presented at the International Forum for Words and Music at Arizona State University, and Performers (') Present Symposium at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Singapore) and La Salle Sia. Her 2017 schedule takes her to engagements at the Orpheus Institute in Belgium, Creative non-fictioNOW (Iceland), a Hambidge Residency (Georgia, USA), and an appointment as a Global Cultural Fellow, University of Edinburgh, Institute of International Cultural Relations (Scotland, UK).